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Published by mark, 2021-04-26 11:30:49

White Coat Reflections Class of 2024

White Coats 2021-Complete

School of Medicine

White Coat Reflections
Class of 2024 by students,

for students

These pages contain a collection of reflections on the first semester
of medical school during a global pandemic contributed by
first year medical students in the Class of 2024 at the
University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Everyone in the class was invited to submit a piece.
We hope you enjoy them.
The Creative HeArts team
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Connected
Rachel Bailey
Featured on the cover

1

a foreword

It’s been a long winter since last March. And it’s still dark, but we
know that spring, in many senses of this word, is around the corner.
All of us have been impacted by this crazy time we live in; we, the
faculty, feel very acutely how much this has affected the students. We
are in awe of the resilience, determination and grit of our students
in the face of this long tough journey, which would have been plenty
hard without the effects of the pandemic. The collection in this issue
is testament to talent, creativity and inner strength of our amazing
students. I acknowledge that it’s very difficult to remain positive
during this time, but I want to share the thoughts that have helped
me retain perspective: try to remember why you chose this profession
– while it will always feel amazing to be needed (trust me on that!)
and to be able to help human suffering in real, tangible ways, this
unprecedented time actually brought to fore just how much we are
needed and how much difference we can make. And one more thing:
while being needed surely helps, we all need to be kind to ourselves
and take care of our mental and physical wellness so that we are able
to get through this and emerge stronger on the other end. I hope
you enjoy the works that are presented in this issue, and that they
brighten your day.
Huge thank you to the Creative HeArts team behind this publication!
Olga B. Ioffe, MD
Professor

A special thank you to our student group's faculty advisor, Dr. John Allen, for his support and
inspiration, as well as Mr. Mark Brodsky of Graphic Squirrel (Ellicott City, MD) for his hours spent

helping assemble and print this publication.

2

the Creative HeArts team

Michael Sikorski, GS3 Christine Yuan, MS2

We started Creative HeArts four years ago to Creative HeArts has reminded me to not lose
foster reflections and expression of the medical sight of the humanistic side of medicine. Being
student experience. We never could have a part of this team has given me the opportunity
imagined what that experience would look like to reflect on my experiences, attribute deeper
for first year medical students during a global meaning to them, and also carve out time for
pandemic. This issue is special for meeting a hobbies that keep me whole. For me, that's
need during a very difficult year, and the pages design, drawing, or anything that involves
herein help us understand what it was like. creating things with my hands!

Isha Darbari, MS2 Chaoyang Wang, MS2

The moment I saw a Creative HeArts publication Piano and painting have both been hobbies of
from a college friend, I was inspired by the level mine for several years now, so I joined Cre-
of creativity, wisdom, and vulnerability. This ative HeArts to stay in touch with my artistic
journal has encouraged me to use art as a means side and encourage others to embrace theirs. I
of acceptance and reflection, as well as a break believe that medicine is an art in itself and re-
from reality when needed. I'm grateful for this flecting upon our experiences in medical school
glimpse into the journeys of our classmates as and beyond, through whatever medium, is an
we embark on these highs and lows together. important part of our growth as future doctors.

Alyssa Schledwitz, MS2 Rachel Bailey, MS1

Through the challenges of this past year, music I joined Creative HeArts because I resonated
and art served as an outlet for me to articulate, with their mission of reflecting on life's
reflect on, and learn from my experiences, as journeys. Creating art has always been my way
I'm sure it has for many others. I'm grateful of reflecting, and I wanted to help provide an
to be a part of Creative HeArts as it helps outlet for others to express themselves too.
motivate me to take time for self-improvement,
whether working little-by-little on a collage or Beita Badiei, MS1
just stepping away from my laptop screen to
be present in the moment - it's important that When I first learned about Creative HeArts as
we as students maintain a space at UMSOM to an undergraduate at UMD, I immediately knew
encourage this. that I wanted to join this incredible group of
people at UMSOM! The arts have always been
Kaitlyn Freels, MS1 an integral part of my life and I am so grateful
for the privilege to combine my love for creative
A student at my interview day recommended arts with the art of medicine. Creative HeArts
Creative HeArts and I was immediately encourages us all, no matter our background,
interested. I loved that there were other to use the creative process to reflect on our
medical students that find joy in creativity and experiences as budding physicians and connect
self-expression. Art is my outlet for creating with our colleagues. Starting medical school
something not for the sake of production, but in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has
reflection and peace in even the most troubling been challenging, and I am so grateful to this
times. organization for creating community and
connection during such an isolating time.
White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

3

Table of Contents

Foreword Dr. Olga Ioffe................................................................................................................................. 1
The Creative HeArts Team........................................................................................................................... 2
Congratulations, Class of 2024.................................................................................................................... 4
Zoom University Hannah Palmer............................................................................................................... 6
Reality of a Medical Student During a Pandemic Samar Behdin....................................................... 7
Connected Rachel Bailey.............................................................................................................................. 8
Body Form Natalia Ochman........................................................................................................................ 9
Red Rock Range Ryan Curto......................................................................................................................10

À la recherche du soleil Sarah-Thérèse Curtis........................................................................ 11

The White Coat Kaitlyn Freels..................................................................................................................12
Let's go there Elizabeth Fernandez Paz...................................................................................................13
Taking Time Alejandra Pablos..................................................................................................................14
Zoom Doodles Beita Badiei........................................................................................................................15

White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

Congratulations

Class of 2024

6

Zoom University
Hannah Palmer

White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

7

Reality of a Medical Student

During a Pandemic

Samar Behdin

White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

8

Connected Rachel Bailey

From behind my computer screen, I worried I'd miss out on experiencing the humanity that drew me to
medicine. I pictured myself sharing a laugh with a patient, studying into the night with my new, lifelong friends,
and exchanging smiles with families in the hallways of the hospital. But, I quickly realized that all is not lost.
Compassion and empathy are boundless, capable of transcending even the very worst WiFi connection.

White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

Body Form 9
Natalia Ochman

White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

10

Red Rock Range

Ryan Curto

Drawing was a great way to destress after a long day of studying!

White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

11

À la recherche du soleil
Sarah-Thérèse Curtis

On days filled with tension, I yearn for the warmth and serenity that I feel laying underneath the palm tree.
Those feelings are not gone, but are sometimes tucked away only to reappear as a profound sense of gratitude for
this journey that I am on.

White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

12

Acrylic on Canvas

Do you remember a time when all that mattered was who could go the fastest?
Where the steepest hill was? I remind myself to be present in the moment.

The White Coat
Kaitlyn Freels
White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

13

Let's go there
Elizabeth Fernandez Paz

Chalk pastels

Finding peace in nature
White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

14

I think a lot of us have realized the ways in which 2020 has presented us with special
opportunities for gratitude. In my case, I have appreciated the beauty of nature this year
more than ever before. I feel so grateful to be joining a profession dedicated to helping
others be able to experience what they find beautiful.

Taking Time
Alejandra Pablos
White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

15

Zoom Doodles
Beita Badiei

I haven't had much time to create art this semester,
but a quote from one of our Zoom lectures,
"Nothing in life is guaranteed," got me doodling
again. Joining the medical field during a pandemic
has made me especially aware of how nothing
in life is guaranteed and how our realities can
seemingly change overnight. While it's been a
difficult year, it has taught me to appreciate and
cherish every moment with loved ones.

White Coat Reflections ◆ 2020

Copyright © 2020
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used, reproduced, edited, stored, or transmitted in any

manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher and authors of original works.
Published December 2020 ◆ Printed in Maryland, USA

Any donations to the Creative HeArts team go towards programming and future publications.

A special thank you to the

Office of the Dean
School of Medicine

for gifting this publication to the Class of 2024
in its support of the creative expression and wellness

of our medical students.


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